Artist and filmmaker Pınar Öğrenci (1973, Van, Turkey) lives in Berlin. Öğrenci used to work as guest lecturer at Master Studies of Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee Raum Strategies. She has a background in architecture, which informs her poetic and experiential films and video installations that accumulate traces of material culture related to forced displacement and disappearance across geographies. Her films are decolonial and feminist readings from the intersections of social and political research, everyday practices, human stories and literature that follow agents of migration.
Her works have been exhibited widely at museums, institutions and festivals including documenta fifteen, MAXXI Museum, Kunst Haus-Hundertwasser Museum Vienna, Gwangju, Sharjah and Athens Biennials, Visions du Reel, Munich, Documentarist and İstanbul Film Festivals. Her film ‘Gurbet is a home now’ won Special Jury Prize of Documentarist Film Festival (2021) Aşît ‘The Avalanche’ (2022) had a World Premiere at Visions du Reel Medium Film Length Film Competition (2023) and ‘Turkish Delight’ nominated by Istanbul Film Festival National Documentary Film Competition (2023). She has been nominated for Böttcherstrasse Kunst Prize 2022 and won Villa Romana Prize for 2023.
Turkish Delight (Greece/Turkey/Germany, 2022, 31′) follows the story of the production of lokum (Turkish Delight), one of the most emblematic delicacies of Turkish culinary culture, that extends from Western Anatolia to the Greek island of Syros. Known as ’rahat-ul hulkum’ in Arabic and ’lokoumi’ in Greek, ’lokum’ came to be called as ’Turkish Delight’ at the end of the 19th century, when nationalist policies were introduced, and became the breadbasket for refugees fleeing the war that would soon begin. The film tells part of the story of Syros, which was built with the labour of Greek (Rum in Turkish) refugees from Anatolia and the islands, and focuses on the forced separation of peoples who lived together for centuries. Narrating the story of the forced displacement of two Greek families who escaped from Izmir and Istanbul and took shelter on Syros Island during the Turkish War of Independence, Turkish Delight brings together the survival stories of two couples from different generations. Visualized by the fragmented multiplicity of images, the narrative of the film points at the split historiography, fragmented cultural relations, and the psychological landscape of loss for refugees torn between the homeland and the port of arrival.